Winnie Holzman's lost HBO show

Discuss former or new projects of Winnie Holzman (creator of "My So-Called Life") in this forum.
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Winnie Holzman's lost HBO show

Post by Sascha » Dec 19th 2012, 1:34 pm

TV critic Alan Speinwall wrote a new book about milestones in television history. Unfortunately, he doesn't include "My So-Called Life", but he mentions a nice tidbit about how close Winnie Holzman came to write a tv show for HBO in the late 1990s. It was a decision between her idea and a show called "The Sopranos"... ;-) ... the_recap/
You have this anecdote in your book about how when HBO ordered “The Sopranos,” it was choosing between that and a show from Winnie Holzman, who made “My So-Called Life.” That’s such an amazing detail, because it highlights just how aggressively things went in the other direction, which is that all of the shows in your book are made my white dudes.

I thought about that a lot, I remember when [HBO exec] Carolyn Strauss mentioned that to me in the interview I was just kind of on auto-pilot for a good five to ten minutes, trying to imagine another world where they made that show instead. The thing is, Winnie Holzman is awesome, “My So-Called Life” is fantastic. I certainly could have mentioned that or “Thirtysomething” in the prologue of this book. But I don’t know if a show about a female executive at a toy company would have been the commercial hit that “The Sopranos” was. Because as much as we like to talk about the artistry of “The Sopranos,” and the different smart things it did, a large percentage of the audience liked to see people get whacked. And we can’t run away from that. And because it was a big hit in the way that “Oz” wasn’t, suddenly everyone else was saying “Hey, let’s do something else like that!” Sean Ryan is unapologetic that “The Shield” was inspired by “The Sopranos.” Other people will talk about how they wanted to do something like “The Sopranos,” the “Battlestar Galactica” guys said that.

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